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January 25, 2020

SHC dismisses bail pleas of suspended police personnel

Karachi

January 25, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday dismissed bail applications of suspended police personnel, who have been on trial along with former Malir SSP Rao Anwar and others, in the case of extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud.

Mohammad Iqbal, Allahyar Kaka, Syed Rais Abbas Zaidi, Shakeel Feroz, Ghulam Nazuk and others had approached the SHC to obtain post-arrest bail. They along with Anwar, DSP Qamar Ahmed Sheikh and other police personnel were booked by the police for allegedly murdering Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others in a fake police encounter on January 13, 2018, in Shah Latif Town. The trial is pending before an anti-terrorism court.

According to the prosecution, the applicants and other suspects took away Naqeebullah along with three others, kept them in illegal confinement and later killed them in a fake police encounter in order to save themselves from legal consequences. The applicants’ counsel, however, submitted that they had been falsely implicated in the case on the basis of improper investigations and they may be granted bail as the main accused, Anwar, had already been granted bail by the trial court. It was submitted that the applicants had been incarcerated since the last two years and evidence of the case had not been concluded yet.

A deputy prosecutor general and counsel of legal heirs of Naqeebullah opposed the bail applications and submitted that the applicants were fully involved in the commission of the offence and they had committed murder of an innocent young man who was also the father of minor children. They submitted that the state and legal heirs had also challenged the bail of Anwar and other accused before the SHC, requesting the high court to dismiss the applications.

A division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Irshad Ali Shah, after hearing the case, observed that the applicants had been implicated in the case on the basis of a high-level police investigation. The court observed that the prosecution witnesses had identified Allahyar, Mohammad Iqbal and Arshad Ali during course of identification parade and admittedly their presence was confirmed at the time of offence.

The bench observed that after the killing, the death was given a cover of the police encounter and this was obviously done to save the applicants and others from legal consequences.

The high court observed that it would be premature to say in such a situation that the applicants were innocent and had been implicated in the case falsely as the complainant party had no influence over the investigations of the case.

The bench observed that the material witnesses of the case had been examined and there was likelihood of early disposal of the case, besides there appeared reasonable ground to believe that the applicants were guilty of the offence which they had been charged with.

The SHC observed that no case for grant of bail was made out and dismissed the bail applications with a direction to the trial court to expedite the proceedings and conclude the trial within three months.

The high court observed that the applicants will be at liberty to repeat the applications for their release on bail before the trial court and noted that the observations in the order were tentative in the nature and may not affect the case of either of the party during the trial.